But then he started to feel better. And he signed with the White Sox. By that spring in 1992, Howard was on the door step of the majors, The Tribune wrote.
"I'm kind of surprised they're giving me as good a chance as they're giving me," Howard told The Tribune. "But the way I'm throwing, I'm really not too surprised."
It took Howard until September 1993, but he made it all the way to the majors.
Howard's professional career began in 1986, signed by the Yankees as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami.
At Miami, Howard was a position player and hitter. In March 1986, he spoke to The South Florida Sun-Sentinel about fixes he'd made in his swing that then had hit hitting .415.
"I had always batted with my back elbow up and I more or less stood with my back straight at the plate," Howard told The Sun-Sentinel. "I talked with coach (Ron) Fraser and (assistant coach) Jim Pizzolatto, and they worked with me on dropping my elbow and leaning over more at the plate."
Signing with the Yankees that summer, Howard played his first season as an outfielder-first baseman, playing between rookie ball and short-season Oneonta.
For 1987, Howard played 79 games at outfield, but four at pitcher. He then moved to pitching full-time for 1988, playing largely at single-A Prince William. In 18 outings, Howard posted a 2.34 ERA.
He then split 1989 between single-A Fort Lauderdale and AA Albany. For 1990, Howard returned to Albany, getting just two outings there before suffering that injury. Moving to the Indians and single-A Kinston later that year, Howard got just eight more outings.
Then, for 1991, Howard signed with the White Sox. Assigned to AA Birmingham, Howard got 38 outings, with an ERA of 2.04. He also picked up six wins and nine saves.
He played 1992 and 1993 at AAA, then got his call to Chicago in September 1993. In three outings, 2.1 innings, Howard gave up two hits and no runs.
Howard moved to the Red Sox for 1994, getting 37 total outings in the bigs. He ended up with a 3.63 ERA, a win and a save.
Howard then came back for one more season, getting four September outings with the Rangers in 1995, ending his big league career. After a season away, he returned for one more year in the minors, 1997 in the minors with the Mets, ending his professional career.
- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, March 23, 1986: Howard Has Hot Hand For UM At Right Time
- Chicago Tribune, March 25, 1992: Survival? They Know All About It
Made the Majors: 691 - 56.9%-X
Never Made Majors: 524-43.1%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 297
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 177